Telephonics is hoping to double its workforce at its manufacturing facility in the Pasquotank Commerce Park by the end of the year.

Telephonics Quality and Manufacturing Engineering Vice-President Anthony DiDio told participants at a company job fair Thursday at College of The Albemarle that the company plans to expand its local workforce from 31 employees to between 55 and 60 by year’s end.

DiDio also said it is likely that Telephonics could also expand its current 25,000-square-foot facility that sits on eight acres, possibly creating even more jobs.

Telephonics held four hour-long company informational sessions at COA on Thursday. A half-dozen people attended the first morning session.

Telephonics is a radar technology and communications systems manufacturer with its products mainly going to the five branches of U.S. military.

The company is looking to fill electronics assembler positions at its local manufacturing facility. Starting pay for the jobs is the high $30,000s to more than $60,000 annually, depending on experience.

Mike Nixon made the drive from Edenton for the informational session. The 18-year U.S. Army medically-retired veteran said he is going to continue the application process.

“I think it is pretty awesome the opportunities Telephonics is bringing to the community,” Nixon said. “There are not a whole lot of opportunities for former service guys that have a drive to keep pushing forward. This is a great opportunity.”

Telephonics began operations in Pasquotank in 2010 employing seven people at the Coast Guard base before announcing plans to add a manufacturing facility in the Commerce Park two years ago.

Telephonics purchased the land and building in the Commerce Park for around $1 million and has invested millions more in renovating the building. It began hiring the first of the current 31 employees 18 months ago.

“We did that through the (COVID-19) pandemic and that was challenging,” DiDio said.

DiDio told job fair participants that the company is close to landing a contract that will “result in a lot of work” in Elizabeth City.

“We will start building and manufacturing that in probably the next year,” DiDio said, referring to the product.

DiDio said future plans could call for expanding the current facility or possibly even constructing a second building at its current site. Telephonics also operates a manufacturing facility in New York state.

“There are, and there could be plans, for expansion,” DiDio said. “Based on what I have seen, I could see that happening because as more and more products shift from New York to down here, we are going to run out of space.”

When Telephonics announced its plans to expand it was also awarded a $400,000 grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce to help with expansion costs.

The state grant money is actually awarded to Pasquotank and the county then gives it to Telephonics. County commissioners voted Monday to pay Telephonics the $400,000, saying it had met the grant criteria, which includes creating at least 50 full-time jobs.